The Festival’s mission is threefold: to serve the community through educational, theatrical, literary, and musical programs; to nurture, support, and showcase regional, national and international writers, actors, musicians, and other artists; to honor the creative genius of Tennessee Williams, who considered this city his spiritual home.
- Brings more than 130 authors, actors, and musicians to the Festival for our five-day event.
- Provides professional writing education to more than 200 area students.
- Supports year-round literary programs in the community.
- Nurtures up-and-coming literary and theatrical talent through our contests and readings, which bring in more than 1,700 poems, short stories, and one-act plays.
- Creates a total economic impact on our city of over 1 million dollars during the five-day event.
Awards and Accolades
- Received the prestigious Louisiana Governor’s Art Award for Outstanding Nonprofit Arts Organization in 2008.
- Earned the James Patterson Page-turner Award for excellence in finding innovative and effective ways to spread the joy of reading to the public in 2006.
- Named one of the top ten literary festivals in the nation by USA Today.
- Named one of the “Six Literary Festivals Around the World You Can’t Miss” by Afar Magazine.
- Named one of the Best Writing Conferences in America by The Writer magazine.
- Executive Director Paul J. Willis awarded the Triangle Publishing Leadership Award, 2019.